Sunday, October 25, 2015

What's In Your Coffee?

I can't remember when I started drinking coffee. I have always loved the taste and couldn't wait to grow up so I could drink it. My mother told me that it would stunt my growth and at the height of almost five feet, I just couldn't risk it. Sometime after high school I started. I never bought fancy coffee, in those days almost no one did, just taster's choice. By the time I got married I was a coffee drinker. Once married, Yitzi would make me coffee. Not that if he didn't, I was insulted, it was just one of those ways he took care of me. I don't sleep well so I am always tired in the morning and it also helped with the slightly low blood pressure.  When I got pregnant with my first, without saying anything, he switched it to decaf. It was a month before I realized and knowing that caffeine is not great for the baby I allowed it. By the other pregnancies, I already knew better. No tricks this time. I argued that I also had a responsibility to take care of the baby and then the babies. None of that would be possible without the coffee. I didn't drink a lot, just one or two cups of instant a day, and I wasn't picky, just don't buy anything that's not taster's choice. Yitzi experimented with flavoring along the way. A little cinnamon, some vanilla, caramel... They were all delicious but don't mess with my first cup. Anything after that is game. Eventually I started drinking more, the one or two didn't work that well, but how I drank it never changed. When I started it was with milk and sugar. Then we found out that sugar is the great Satan and I switched to Splenda. When Splenda went to the dark side, I switched to stevia. But I always had that sweet cup of coffee to greet me in the morning.  On several occasions I have tried to quit (usually before a fast day), but have never been successful. I remember calling my brother and telling him that in cutting down from four cups a day, I am now at six. 
In my quest to take better care of myself, I have cut certain foods out of my diet. Among them is milk and any kind of sweetener. My coffee is a disaster. It makes me want to cry daily. A few days ago I was telling a few friends that it was like a big delicious hug every morning for twenty years, and I miss it. I know that words have meaning and the words we choose to describe feelings are often very telling.  Many of us have emotional bonds with food, and it can evoke many feelings. My cup of sweet coffee is like a hug. It's not that I miss having my coffee just so, it's the man that always brought me the coffee. It is a hug from him that I miss. It's the way he made me feel cherished that I miss. After having a good cry on the subject, I decided not to belittle my feelings. This is hard, and I miss being taken care of and its ok to feel that way. 
This morning when I made my not delicious coffee, it wasn't disgusting, it was just sad and that's ok for now. Hopefully soon I will learn to enjoy the taste of plain coffee. After all, it's just coffee. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My Soul Cries For Jerusalem

Listen carefully. Do you hear what I hear?  I hear the sounds of good people doing nothing. That's right, nothing. No outrage, no reporting, and no honesty.
When I was a child I had a reoccurring nightmare. I was screaming and nobody could hear me. I was waving people down and they couldn't see me. They were unaware of the terror I was experiencing and my cries were invisible.
Today we are living this nightmare. We are yelling from the rooftops and the world ignores us. How bad would it have to get to get your attention?  Raping women? Enslaving children? Or my personal favorite, sending your children to kill other children? Would you sit up then? Would you take notice? Would you get off your high horse of contempt? Would you sacrifice your fear of offending anyone and start saving lives? Would you venture out of you oblivious comfort bubble and see what a mess you have helped create?  Would you respect life and not color or religion. Would it be more convenient if we were an endangered species? What is your breaking point? When will it begin to bother you? When will you remember your younger self? The one that instinctively knew what was right and wrong. The one that would have done anything to make this world better. What happened? Did you get educated out of morality? Are you proud of yourselves? Do you realize what you are leaving to your children?  My hope is that they will be the opposite of you. Grow up with no hope for a better tomorrow and decide that that is not acceptable. Recognize the inherit right of people to live and that all those who would deny or destroy that right are just evil. Make a United Nations that is not just united in its hatred of Israel, and complicit in the slaughtering of hundreds of thousands, but one United in its goal of making this world safe and good.  

Footnote:  My blog is usually reserved for personal stories and thoughts on our struggle living with ALS. I thought a thousand times before posting something of this nature. I am a proud Jew living in America and I am scared. I wonder how we would get my husband to Israel if the threat to American Jewery would get more serious. I know I am not alone in my fears and worries. I have a son and daughter studying in Israel and like most of my fellow Jews, that is the home of my heart and soul. Given to us by G-d thousands of years ago, it is the Jewish homeland.  Today it is under constant attack and the silence is deafening. The condemnation is loud and clear. If I am silent because I am afraid of what you may say, I become the person I detest. The silent majority that allows all of this, and that would be unacceptable. If the truth offends you, you are not my intended reader, and who cares?Being offended is not the worst thing in the world. Being murdered is.  I write what I see and experience. I write the truths of our lives and for Jewish people,  this is the most important subject of our times. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Healthy Inspiration

How often do you appreciate the opportunity to do a Mitzvah?  Because our bodies more or less work, we don't think about what a privilege it is to be able to shake a lulav, or eat in the Sukkah, or do many other Mitzvos. Today Yitzi went into the sukkah. It took over an hour to get him there, and when we got there I noticed he had tears in his eyes. He "told" me that it has been two years since he has been in a sukkah. So here I am wondering if and how it would be possible to love our Mitzvos as much as Yitzi does without the challenges he has. First of all we have to think about it and how fortunate we are that we can easily do what HaShem asks of us. Second of all, it has to matter enough to us that we feel a pang of envy when we see someone love doing a Mitzvah. And thirdly, we get to see people like Yitzi and be inspired and reminded that this is special. We have an opportunity to connect to HaShem. So now I ask myself, would there be a way if Yitzi didn't show me? Can we learn all of this from a healthy person who doesn't face these challenges? I am hoping we can, for if not it is necessary for there to be people like Yitzi. So how can we show HaShem it is not necessary. How can we inspire each other and take care of each other without severe circumstances?  How can we pay attention when it's easy? I don't have the answer but I think it is a key to healing the pain of this world. Healing each other long before we are this broken. Taking care of people before they fall. Until I figure that out, I am just going to follow Yitzi. He seems to know what he is doing.